HOUSTON - During a COVID-19 relief proposal briefing last week, President Joe Biden talked about increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
In a speech about sending aid to help to those who've been hit the hardest due to COVID-19 essential workers, the president saying that $7.25 is just not enough.
But small business owners tell FOX 26, it’s a death sentence, saying major companies may be able to shoulder the pay raise, but for small businesses, it’s a lose/lose.
"The things that kind of pushes my buttons right now are any that looks like it might be another major hurdle to continuing to operate," said Devon Shows, owner of Bricks and Minifigs in Pearland. "Any buffer that we might have had we used up to get through the pandemic."
Shows tells FOX 26, a federal mandate to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour would be one of those hurdles.
"I understand them wanting to put more money in the hands of individuals, but you can't do it on the backs of small businesses," said Shows. "Unless they are going to do something, like include an ongoing stimulus grant for small biz, it’s simply going to hurt way more than help."
Danny Arnold, who owns Plex in Missouri City, tells FOX 26 investing in his employees is a company goal.
But a wage hike, especially now, is not realistic for small businesses.
"As a biz owner, we try to make more profits so we can turn around to either hire more people or increase their salaries," said Arnold. "It's simple math, all we are going to do is cut back hours, or even worse, let people go."
According to the Non-partisan Congressional Budget Office raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would raise 1.3 million workers above the poverty line by 2025.
But they also estimate the move would cost 1.3 million American jobs.